The Detroit Lions are pretty clearly rebuilding this offseason for the future, but that hasn’t stopped some from believing the team has had a miserable offseason.
The Lions traded Matthew Stafford, and have been tearing things down a bit, which can only lead some to say that the entire offseason has been a bit of a failure for the team. That, plus the fact that the Lions have made some perceived downgrades, leads Bleacher Report to grade the offseason in lowly fashion.
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Recently, writer Brad Gagnon was charged with grading every team’s offseason, and when it came to Detroit, the news wasn’t happy. As he said, the team earns a ‘C’ grade for their work, and Gagnon is downright puzzled why the Lions would make the move for Jared Goff in the first place.
“It might have been time for a fresh start after 12 seasons and no playoff victories with Stafford at quarterback for the Detroit Lions, but Jared Goff? The dude has completely lost it ever since bombing in the Super Bowl two years ago, and his and Stafford’s dead cap charge total $29.7 million this year and $31.2 million in 2022.
Beyond that, the Lions downgraded by replacing Golladay and Jones with Williams and Perriman, although St. Brown was a steal in Round 4 and could help that receiving corps immediately.
The offensive line admittedly looks stacked now that Sewell is joining Taylor Decker, Frank Ragnow, Halapoulivaati Vaitai and Jonah Jackson, but it remains tough to get excited about that offense in general.
The defense at least gets Okwara back and brings in Brockers to work with Trey Flowers on the edge, and they added a bunch of bulk and ferocity to that unit with three Day 2 selections up front and at corner. But the jury is still very much out on those guys, and there are still major questions about the linebacking corps and secondary.
Altogether, this Lions team doesn’t look significantly better than the one that won just five games in 2020.”
The Lions might not look better, but the last few seasons, the team hasn’t won a ton of games either, which could mean it was the right time to hit the reset button on the franchise. That’s what the Lions are probably thinking, anyway, given some of their moves. It is important to consider this whole picture before harshly judging the offseason.
There could be some short-term pain, but the design could be building something for the long-term in Detroit.
Goff Comes to Detroit With Chip on Shoulder
After more hatred has been cast his way, it’s clear Goff will enter a situation in Detroit where the majority of the pressure is indeed off of him in terms of his situation. The expectations in Los Angeles were high, but now that he is being written off heading to Detroit, Goff can simply settle in and play football. Most predicted the Lions to select a quarterback in the draft or be involved in the quarterback market, but Goff can put an end to that with a quality season on the field. It’s a big chance for both him and the Lions heading into 2020.
Very quietly, the Lions may have solved a major issue on their team with a blockbuster trade. Once Goff comes into the mix, he will be given plenty of support to reinvent himself and will have plenty of chances to do so. He will also not be expected to do much, setting him up to perhaps prove some of the haters wrong.
Why Lions Offseason Has Been Better Than Many Think
The Lions won’t win many awards for the offseason as this piece shows, but the one thing the team has done is hand out sensible deals in free agency and avoid long-term mistakes like they have made in the past. The draft picks and players who have been added are all tough-minded and solid people, and will help contribute to laying the foundation for what the team hopes can be a winning culture moving forward in the years ahead.
Many will be giving the offseason a low grade, but when looking deeper, the Lions deserve the benefit of the doubt for what they are trying to build long-term.